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of internet gambling, which is against the law, yet is thriving in this country. but first, my report about one of the biggest scandals in the history of online gambling. a small group of people managed to cheat players out of more than $20 million, and it would have gone undetected if it hadn't been for the players themselves, who used the internet to root out the corruption. as a joint investigation by 60 minutes and the washington post revealed in 2008, it raises new questions about the integrity and security of the shadowy and highly profitable business that operates outside u.s. law. >> moneymaker puts his name amongst the greatest players in the game! >> if you had to pick the moment that the poker boom began, it was probably the day an unknown accountant named chris moneymaker won $2.5 million at the 2003 world series of poker. suddenly, every amateur with a hat, sunglasses, and a stack of chips saw themselves as the next big moneymaker. nearly 7,000 people competed in this year's tournament for $180 million in prize money, but the fever has spread far beyond las vegas. it is the ric
expert opinions, they've ghost written court judgments. in our view, they've violated numerous laws, both in ecuador and the united states. all of it is available on videotape depositions and in e-mails because the crime fraud exception has been invoked by numerous judges in the united states. our strategy is to fight it, fight it hard. we feel we'll prevail in the end. >> i know this is a significant case, however, this is also sort of the normal for the industry, isn't it? this is the uphill battle you're fighting all the time, this hostility. >> rule of law, i would say, is the biggest risk not just to our industry but business in general. the world is becoming much more international and interconnected. it's very important that we have laws and norms that are functioning. so companies like ours and others can have a predictable and successful business overseas. this case is a little bit different in that it's a fraud. >> what kind of growth are you expecting in the next year at chevron? you've been outperforming your peers for many years now. what can investors expect? >> we have a go
it at the 2010 health law, affordable care act. that is a massive cost weight on the american people. it is a deeply unpopular issue. still it was relatively ignored during the election but it's still an active issue. and we have to provide assurance. americans have told us. they told us in the exit polling, they've told us in a number of other forms that they do not want to see burdens increased on our small businesses. >> mcconnell didn't mention that. i mean, that's a different thing. hadley, let me go to you on this. mcdonnell mentioned -- i'm going to read this from the "wall street journal." higher medicare premiums for the wealthy, an increase in the medicare eligibility age, retirement age and slowing of c colas. he said that's their position. isn't it time for them to come out with that boehner-mcconnell, here it is here's what we want right now? >> from a strategy standpoint i think the republicans should put some counter offer on the table. but i think they tend to lose sight of the forest for the trees when we start to talk about the aspects of this deal, that deal, the o
conservatives quit the deportation law and order harshness. then i think having put that aside, having shown there's some compassion i think you can go back to that group, george w. bush got 40%, jeb bush got close to 50%, governor perry gets a high amount. it can to be done, star. >> i'm not saying it can't to be done but you can't say that even under george bush the policy was very different within the republican party when it looked at immigration in shutting the borders. has it intensified? yes. i'm from california. i understand what you're talking about. this is v-very difficult rhetoric that's been put against this particular people. but that's not the only question when we're talking about the latino community. >> star parker, thank you. i want to talk to you some more. we'll go back to the fiscal cliff. if high end tax rates are successful entrepreneurs rocket higher, you can bet the number of millionaires in this country is going south. that's if high taxes go up. millionaires go down. that's no good. in our land of opportunity, i want more millionaires. and i think the better for t
you're going to to on the tax side. that's simple. you have to pass a law that says the present law has to be overridden. the argument is whether it's overridden for people over 250,000. >> and what would be your position on that? >> oh, i think the simple thing to do, obviously do what the president is saying. he ran a campaign on it. if you have to act in three weeks, you're not going to revise the whole income tax code in the next three weeks. all this business about deductions may be perfectly legitimate and i think that both income tax -- personal income tax and corporate income tax need a lot of thought and a lot of revision. they're both broken. but you're not going to do that in three weeks. the challenge that i see is in three weeks you've got to have some convincing balance of the tax side, the revenue side, with the expenditure side. you can't change the expenditures in three weeks. you can indicate intentions, but you can't -- >> we'll have more of that conversation throughout the show including interesting comments he has about bernanke and interest rates and what's goi
. but whatever laws congress sets congress can break. they have refused to do a budget. it is not a rule it is a law and it is the statute. so, i'm in favor of some of these rules, but i'm recognizing at the end of the day, what matters more is what you send to washington. >> well, we he have a little more than a month to go and nobody seap seems to know how s going to play out. many, many thanks for coming on. cyber monday was a record breaker this year. sales rising 30% compared to this year. mobile dievises played a big role. so that young children can completely waste their time and parent's money. oh, i'm sorry that was just a joke. i take it all back. now, moving on, we are about to reveal the possible republican front-runner for 2016. this revelation coming from our buddy robert costa. up next a front-runner already. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and
to put it in an amusing way, it is the need to get out of your mother in law's house. pretty intuitive concept when you think about it. we have a break here. because the market is so darn tough. and that could be your chance for the analysts. here is the bottom line. we need hope to be van switkwis. he so that it is so negative. have them leave the room. and we can return to the growth themes and they are autos and homes. by them on the way down and never on the way down as the scared sellers buy them out. you can take your time. who the heck knows when and from what level you can get back in. why don't we go to tom in new york. >> big lots and slower same store sales and make it a buy. it had it's gob and i don't want you to come in now. i think that big lots is not a great operator. the market needs to free itself from the notion that there will be a deal. that is what needs to happen. take your time. this hope is still not dashed enough to make this market immune from more disappointment. "mad money" will be right back. shop until you drop? the holiday shopping season is in full swi
, welcome back. under the taft-hartley law. president obama can step into end this strike. is there any sense at all that he will do it? >> well, it has become a rare opportunity for the president to intervene in strikes. we are at a near record low for the number of work stopages in this country. we have seen five labor movements and trying to shut down the airlines on the thanksgiving break. it is clear that the unions feel that they have the wind at their back. >> well, the old taft heaartley law spawned the national labor relations board. that is something that, i come back to this again, have the business people involved. they are cutting off the supplies and the economy down there. california is one of the worst economic basket cases in the state. has any one appealed to the state or the board to put a taft hearty injunction in place? >> is it in the buzz? >> there is a buzz about it. the retail federation has asked him to intervene. when did they ask him? when did they ask the president to intervene do you have a sense of what the timing was? is. >> there was a process that invol
out of your mother-in-law's house. get your own home. intuitive concept for those, when you think about it. we got to break here as toll brothers actually down on the news today because the market's so darn tough. i expect downgrades tomorrow from people who don't believe things can stay this strong and that could be your strong to be analysts who always downgrade ar the report. here's the bottom line. we need hope to be vanquished. we need it spindled, mutilated. chex out the holders, thinking it's imminent and leave the room and then return to what i've been tracing and huge cycles of pent-up demand. buy them on the way down. never on the way up. you can take your time. do not leave this market wholesale. who the heck knows when and from what level you can get back in. why don't we go to tom in new york. tom? >> caller: hi, jim. could this offset same-store sales and make it a buy? >> i think it moved already. one of those stocks that moves in gigantic gobs, to speak and had its gob and i don't want you to come in now. not a great operator. one of thebounces up and down, it's no
corporate excess. we begin with the yakuza, japan's not-so-secret version of the mafia. american law enforcement keeps a close eye on the yakuza, and that includes keeping tabs on a ruthless gang leader named tadamasa goto. as lara logan reported in the fall of 2009, goto not only got into the country; he was first in line for a lifesaving liver transplant. [haunting wooden flute music] >> this is the godfather, tadamasa goto, at a rarely seen ritual of the yakuza. filmed by the mobsters for their own private viewing, the top bosses are gathered to pay homage at an ancient succession ceremony. the event's steeped in tradition. what does it mean in japan to be a yakuza? >> [speaking japanese] >> to be a yakuza in japan is to live an unalterable way of life. it's not an occupation. it's to follow and explore the lives of the samurai, the code of the samurai. >> this man is a yakuza boss, a rival of goto's, who only agreed to an interview if we masked his identity. how do you recognize a yakuza? how do you know if someone is a yakuza? >> it's the smell. >> it's the smell? >> yes. >> wha
that parliament at both houses need to approve any law to revise the boj law. but it would at apply pressure to take worldbolder steps to pr any revision to the law. >> could they just change the mandate? >> they could, but it's probably unlikely that the mandate will be changed. focusing on price stability. some politicians want the mandate to be changed so that job growth is added among their policy objectives. that's unlikely. but the government might ask the boj to set their inflation target at a higher rate than the current 1%, most likely 2%. >> why is a change of mandate unlikely? they're unhappy with what the bank of japan is doing and you're a democratically elected government, what's wrong with changing the mandate and get on with it? >> i think what's happening in japan is that inflation is there for so long, that changing any mandate dramatically without having the clear means to achieve it would just undermine the credibility of central bank as well as politicians and their policy making. so i think politicians are very much aware of that, so while they do apply stronger pressur
into law more cuts than were in the simpson-bowles proposal, he's proposed additional cuts in the 2013 budget he's proposed. to say he hasn't put cuts on the table is completely disingeneralsous. >> karen is making president obama out to be a tight fisted spending cutter. you followed the fiscal beat? >> do you regard president obama as a tight-fisted spending cutter? >> it's somewhere in between. he did sign a cap that would save a trillion dollars over the next would you mean of years. but thens other side of it is that we need about $4.9 trillion of savings over the next year to stabilize grashio, or cutting spending to medicare crieders. you actually do need to take on and storm reforming or we're going to be facing a down grade of all three rate being agencies. >> in brief, this stuff about -- they call it providers. providers are patients, providers congress -- you think congratulations and republican are going to take out from -- >> i think it's going to be a provider but i generally don't think it's like it. >> how can john boehner and the republican, preserving some modicum of
witnesses or laws talk about the kids. it was all about the money, the benefits and the fact they want another legislative debate. >> the reason i notice that many of the teachers are good both my sisters in-law are teachers. my wife taught when she was much younger. not only are we not getting mea mark choice and competition, but this money issue, which seems to phony to me, there's a $3.6 billion dr $3.6 billion budget in louisiana, but only 22 million is being used by these vouchers. so obviously the state board has plenty of fiscal latitude to let these kids and their parents make the right choices. it's not a money issue. not at all. one of the arts is the voucher program is taking money from the local school districts. the fact is, larry, this year the local school districts have more money than last year. that's a pretense. all they're trying to do is relitigate the issue and trying to find a way to stop choice. you know why? if you let those market forces flourish, you will force competition. you will force the school district to do what they should. fire bad teachers and rewar
supporice support. >> all right. thanks for that, peter. swiss government has vetoed a proposed new law to increase transparency at commodity traders on the grounds that legislation would prove too string again. carolyn is in zurich. not often you hear regulators saying new rules would be too stringent, but here we go. so why? >> yeah, you have to ask why would the swiss cabinet rule against this motion whiches for terse more transparency. this is also in part a law which would force trading houses to declare the payments that they make to the resource rich countries. so why would they veto against it? you have to understand, and i'm not trying to justify anything here, the commodity trading business is a huge contributor to tax revenues here. 20 billion swiss francs is year is what we're talking about. takes very secretive have i. you have big trading houses and they want low taxes and political stability and i'm sure there's a huge lobby really lobbying for this law not to be passed. but really this is at odds with other legislation which is now being pushed forth bri the u.s. and eu
to be cleared by both houses of parliament before it becomes the law of the land. as of now, all our political sources seem to indicate that the government is safe when it comes to the numbers in the lower house of parliament, but it's looking uncertain and shaky when it comes to the register but for the upper house of parliament. most political parties who are in opposition have stridently opposed retail saying it will kill the small retailer in india, it's going to be aunt consum -- anti-consumer, the government feels it will actually create jobs, will bring in technology, will create infrastructure in the supply chain so currently a debate of we are expecting the lower parts of parliament to take a vote on this matter about 7:00 p.m. india time. it seems like it will go through the low herb house, but the big question mark is on the upper house of parliament and that is where the arithmetic doesn't seem to be working in favor of government. foreign investors are going to be watching this very closely because if this is turned back, if there is a u-turn on this poll circumstance it means tha
we turn around, they want something done. they pass a tax law. they get people to invest in it. then they turn around and blame you for taking advantage of the tax law. they call it incentives. then they call it loopholes. i think we have to get the government out of that part of the business. that tax code has to be changed. >> you've got to pay your fair share. >> everybody should pay their fair share. >> allstate is reducing its exposure to muni debt. why? is this a reaction to the fiscal cliff? >> well, we started reducing our municipal debt a couple years ago when the recession was on and state governments were having a hard time. we just had too much. we had about $26 billion. now we're down to 13. i feel good at where we're at. we reduced it for four reasons. if you're loaning somebody money, right, you want to make sure they got income to pay you. you want to make sure they got decent balance sheet. you got to like the management team. you got to like governance. in many of these states, we didn't like all four of them. we thought they didn't have any money, weren't gen
a tax cut vote, tyler, because the current law has those rates going up to 39.6%. so that may be an argument for going over the cliff for a few days, then solving it after that. >> that is what i've increasingly been hearing. if you wait until you go over the cliff, then the republicans can legitimately say we're voting to lower rates from those rates that the president allowed us to experience. let's talk about the president who is going to take to social media this afternoon to talk about the fiscal cliff. what's he going to do? >> reporter: i think he's just going to engage with the american public. remember, a key element of the strategy that he's had ever since september of 2011 when the grand bargain talks broke out -- broke down and post-election he's made clear this is going to remain an element of his strategy, is campaigning with the public. he made that trip to pennsylvania last week. he's trying to use the public, which polls show agrees with him on some of the key questions like top rate, to put pressure on the congress to move. we'll see how effective that can be
hang on? >> even though it's up 116%, it should not be sold. i owned it in the 50s in my law school dorm in 1983. let's hold on to this and go to patrick in washington. >> caller: hi, jim. booya. given the recent divergence between the price of gold and gold mining stocks with the price of gold going up and mining stocks being level or going down would it be wise to hang on to my investments in the gold mining stocks in hopes that they catch up with the price of gold or should i just sell them off and put the money into gld or something like that? >> i think you should sell them off overtime and put your money in the gld. today was a temporary setback because of all the happy talk in washington. pat in illinois. pat. >> hey, jim. pat from chicago. how are you? >> not bad. how about you? >> caller: i'm doing well, thank you. jim, got a question for you. corning, i've owned it for 14 1/2 years, been accumulating it for those 14 1/2 years and it's been a dog from the day i bought it. it's hot one day. ceo said that the tv glass manufacturers are buying their glass like crazy. >> yeah.
's been a lagger for many years. i owned it in the '50s in my law school dorm. here's patrick in wisconsin. >> caller: hi, jim, boo-yah. >> by yeah. >> caller: given the recent divergence of price of gold going up and the mining stocks staying level or going down, would it be wise to hang on to my investments in the gold-mining stocks in hopes that they catch up with the price of gold? or should i just sell them off and put the money into gld or something like that? >> i think you should sell them off over time and not all once the. i think they're going higher and today was a temporary setback because of all the happy talk in washington. i'm going to pat in illinois. pat? >> hey, jim. how are you? >> not bad, how about you. >> caller: doing well, thank you. jim, i have a question for you, gow cory, i voted for 14.5 years and been accumulating it for those 14 and a half years and it's been a dog from the day i bought it. it popped on monday. ceo said that the tv manufacturers are buying their glass like crazy. jim should i sell it? >> no, did not sell now. think about that, 14 and a half y
with this ridiculous cliff idea, there were legislators who believed that if these changes were to become law, it would be so obvious we would be thrown into recession, that it wouldn't happen that fact was supposed to create compromise, instead, neither side seems at all fearful for recession. it's amazing how bold they are or maybe how stupid they are and to the gop, obama's re-election clearly meant nothing at all. it's almost as if neither side realizes how many people are simply just playing for dinner here, trying to put dinner on the table. now i got to deal with this morass in washington. while i'm optimist thak if congress and the president canceled vacations, remember, no vacation without legislation and stayed to avert the cliff. i'm worried that they're sworn to not compromise. i'm worried that rising above is anathema to democrats and repugnant to the republicans as the phrase, grower, hide your ears, higher taxes. here's the bottom line. a new school which says the cliff jump won't be that bad has now entered the fray. i'm still hoping we don't go over the cliff. but i can't be sang win i
what my regulations and laws will be. >> i do think that's become actually more of a consensus type view which is that if we were to be able to find some resolution, get a little bit more certainty, there is some pent up demand on the hiring side, on the which is i in-business investment side. you may actually see growth at 3% say. >> businesses will invest. consumers still have the ability because housing has helped them with the tail wind and you're seeing it in the auto cycle, you saw the sales yesterday and you'll see it increasing because interest rates are low, gas prices have come down, but businesses have the pent up demand and they didn't want to spend it because they don't know what's going to happen. >> let's bring in some of the sound from brian moynihan. we talked about a lot of things including the looming fiscal cliff. talked about business concerns as you head into the end of the year and even what to expect in 2014. bank of america has 55 million customers here in america. they represent one out of every two households. so moynihan has a very good idea about what co
you. so i felt more secure crossing the border into a country that had laws that were backed by the justice system. >> bizarre story. the whole thing with him. who was that last guy? the guy that had the dungeon built in his house? >> yeah, the guy in california, he was a software guy too. >> crazy. money goes to -- i don't know what happened to this guy. but his neighbors did. he had nothing to do with -- >> he had been blogging about -- >> bath salts or something? not to soak his feet in. >> no, bath salts were like a great experimental drug he'd been experimenting with. >> wait a second -- hopefully you don't turn into a cannibal. you draw the line right before you start eating someone. >> hopefully. >>> still to come, rising above the fiscal cliff, steny hoyer is going to be our guest. plus -- and steny, i was reading his stuff. he sounds -- he's rising above a little bit. he didn't sound quite as -- jobs in focus. private payroll data from adp. this was my choice too. kenny chesney. it's a jobs friday preview. >>> and mark zandi of moody's joins us. we'll explain why he'
to go to law school of a i graduated. looks like my folks won't have enough money to put me through college. >> well, the world needs ditch diggers too. >> student loan debt nears the $1 trillion mark. that's right. $1 trillion. new evidence college may not be worth it after all. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. >>> another retailer declaring a special dividend. let's send it over to kayla for a quick market flash. >> that retailer is guess. that dividend came amid a lackluster quarter for the company. it beat on the top line but missed on the bottom line. it lowered guidance for next year and said store sales were down. look at the stock. up 3% after hours on $1.20 per share special dividend announced this quarter. investors like it. companies are doing it. >> we've seen a lot of these. >> just on
's the shareholders' money through the company. tax law makes it very difficult to bring the money back in. they've already made the money selling their products and service around the world. so it's much cheaper with low interest rates the way they are to borrow the money and pay the dividends to the shareholders. the tax code actually just represents a very inefficient methodology of transferring the profits to the shareholders as well as influencing where companies are likely to be looking for future profits around the world. >> they've talked in washington periodically about a moratorium on allowing corporations to repatriate some of that money without a tax a consequence. that would help to some degree, wouldn't it? >> absolutely. that would be a very fabulous thing to do. the companies have already made the money, it's real money, it's profits they've made selling their products and services around the world, and it's going to sit there to be used to build profits with potential growth opportunities there versus here because of the tax code. they make it very unaffordable to bring it here,
lynch purchase and the country wide buy. one gigantic law firm with a bank attached. that's how much their earnings have been dependent upon legal obligations. and that's what cuts them. bank of america led the dow today, broke out above $10. a level hasn't been seen in ages as the unsold homes dwindles, i think it probably goes higher. here's the bottom line, listen to me, go ahead, be gloomy, you have every right. be critical, and be angry at those who can't rise above the rhetoric in washington to avoid a recession. and don't even have the common decency to give us legislation before taking a vacation. you know what these people remind me of? they remind me of the star trek villain who showed the wrath on us by sticking proverbial ear wigs into our ears. but the ceos of the companies themselves, sorry, in true scotty fashion, they're giving her all they've got, and just like spock, they want you to live long and prosper. bob in florida, bob? >> caller: hey, big boo-yah to you, cramer. >> right back at ya. >> caller: first thing i want to do is thank you quick for all you do to dem
'm having a heart attack. anyway, i drove to my mother-in-law's house to let her verify what i thought i had seen. that's what it was. >> that is what it was. don't you hate it when you can't see, when your glasses aren't there? could this be the other big powerball winner. the man came in to this maryland gas station store yesterday and asked for the powerball numbers and discovered he had the winning numbers. man jumped up and down and grabbed his ticket and took off, only to return minutes later because he realized he needed gas. he told the cashier he was from maryland and a member of the military but bought the ticket outside of flagstaff, arizona. >> wow. fantastic. thanks, ty. >>> in light of those big wins, we ask how much would you need to make to be happy? our wealth editor robert frank is here with a very surprising answer. >> hi, sue. well, the question of how much it takes to be happy is a little subjective. it depends of course on your current finances and those around you. but new research gives us some pretty good averages. in the u.s., the optimal salary for happiness is aro
markets under u.s. law should have a little bit more confidence that they may actually be able to, you know, get countries to react. i think going forward, this has been a benefit. >> hans, do you expect argentina to make this payment by december 15th? >> that's -- i think what's being suggested now is that if they're going to pursue the legal avenues, that they're going to have to post a payment -- the payment of the 1.3 billion in escrow. what's interesting is guillermo nielsen, the debt negotiator for argentina back in the first go-around, the 2005 exchange, frankly i consider it to be quite a bit part of the problem in not dealing with the creditors, but even he suggested that they post the payment into escrow and let the legal process go. we've heard in argentina that the main person who is opposing sort of a rational process in seeing how this goes is the president, christina fernandez kirshner, but that there seems to be a bit more of thought that they make this payment. actually, just a payment to elliot, to aurelias, i'm not sure it's going to be in the cards. i think the choi
bipartisan enshrined in law to deal with this by having a phased in entitlement reform. it's very hard as a practical matter to see that happening without a bond market crisis. >> and we don't have much time, but what would be the key planning of that entitlement reform? >> rolling back the unfunded medicare giveaways of the second george w. bush administration. >> medicare and medicaid combined 20%. so huge. we want to give you a quick sense of the agenda in the u.s. october personal income and intending with the savings rate will be out at 8:30 a.m. eastern. at 10:00 a.m., we'll get the november chicago pmi. expected to show a reading of 50 which is a slight uptick from last month. and an important gauge of the ism data that we'll get later. stick around because straight ahead, a welcome phillip for japan as factory output rises for the first time in four months. is the worst finally over? we'll weigh in. and we'll leave you with a view of the heat map. up 0.05%. can i help you? i heard you guys can ship ground for less than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to g
in an >> not to mention a lot of law firms and things that were down here as well, had a lot of documents, old documents that were downstairs. >> we're still really figuring out what the impact of sandy was. >> a terrific article about stockton today, housing shortages happening in very strange areas, that was in bloomberg.com. the claims are still okay. they're not terrible. gdp was not bad. that's why again, if you settle the fiscal cliff, right now there's a combination of trying to pick up the pieces, which turn out to be harder and a sense of, well, wait a second, if you're a big company, why hire now if i'm going to have to fire later because of the cliff. >> in the premarket session, shares of tiffany taking a hit. the luxury goods taking a hit at 49 cents a share. also lowing it's full year forecast, with smaller than expected profit margins, it's a bad product mix in terms of higher priced items with lower margins. all of those things hitting them this morning. >> i really want to know, we have got two companies today that i regard as being poor exporters. tiffany and kohl's. retail retailers,
. as i said, there's been a coordinated crackdown around the world of anti-bribery law in the u.k. and a big run in russia. corruption is everywhere. >> why isn't the united states further up the ranking? >> part of the problem and united states is always ranked around this area below top 10%. what they say is a lot of it has to do with just corruption not being enough of a priority. they say that the financial crisis changed some of that and people are starting to pay attention and citing a poll that 80% of americans believe that the financial crisis was the result of some public corruption. so it's more in the consciousness there and that affects the perception. it still has a long way to go. >> fascinating. thanks very much. >>> still ahead this morning, we've seen a wide range of companies unloading special dividends this quarter. have the nonissuing companies now made the wrong move. we'll take a deeper dive into that and talk about names that have yet to declare one and what it means for them ahead of the fiscal cliff. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunatel
at a law firm. we have been looking through so many things when it comes to the fiscal cliff. and what we haven't focused on is what it would mean for the life insurance industry. this is something we've spoken with you about in the past. when you were here, i don't know if it was the last time you were here, you were here when they were looking at downgrading the united states and its credit ratings. the warning's out there that if there's not a deal reached, we could see another downgrade. what would that mean for the industry? >> i think that would not be good for the industry. i was on about a year ago when we talked about the u.s. been put on a watch, the s&p did, in fact, downgrade. and what happens in the life insurance industry, in order to stand behind the promises to policy holders, it's the largest holder of corporate and u.s. high-grade bonds. so it has, i think, over $2 trillion. and if you think about it, a downgrade would not be positive there. i could see the rating agency say these guys can't get their fiscal house in order, we warned them, put them on some kind of watch,
taxable but not under a tax relief law passed five years ago that, yes, expires at the end of next month. if it is not extended because of the fiscal cliff, debt relief will become taxable again and that will affect thousands and thousands of short sales and principal reduction loan modifications many under the big robo signing mortgage settlement. that settlement is why short sales have skyrocketed, surpassing foreclosure sales last june and keep on going. in nevada they made up 40% of october sales up from 34% a year ago. that according to lps home price index. now bank of america alone has done over 100,000 short sales so far this year. and i spoke to a rep there who says they are well aware of the potential looming tax risks as are their customers. they say they would love to ramp up short sales but they're already doing them as fast as they can. i ask what happens if the tax relief is not extended? the source told me i would expect we start to get more customers saying i've talked to my tax adviser and i'm going to opt out of that short sale and we'll just take it to foreclosure. an
something or do you think it's a bad law all the way through? >> honestly, steve, i think the answer is we're all going to find out a year from now. we're offering health care to our full time folks today. how this is going to affect business, how it's going to flow through, we're not going to know for a while now. first because uls you have to come, but secondly, i think there are a lot of things in effect that we're going do see in the marketplace for health care that nobody really fully understands yet. just an awful lot of changes coming through at once. so we'll see over time. >> all right. so salads just aren't happening for you, really, are they? >> you know, the lettuce and salads, people ask for them but, you know, it's interesting. at the end of the day, they like pizza. >> yeah, they do. >> that brooklyn style crust is outstanding. and that midweek carryout special, our kids love that. >> we're glad you came on today. we're all -- yeah. i can't think of anything bad to say. patrick, that you can. we appreciate it. >> thanks joe. >> you're in ann arbor. thanks. >>> let's take a l
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